Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Archive for May, 2010

Memorial Day and Upcoming Travels To Airstream Rally

posted: May 31st, 2010 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Here are a few images that should help us recall the incredible sacrifices our soldiers have made over the years. They include images commemorating soldiers from the Civil War and from WW II.

The cornfield image recalls the general location at Antietam National Battlefield where 21,000 soldiers charged through stands of corn only to be mowed down by opposing forces as they stepped into the open. The Church recalls where a brief truce was declared at Antietam so that Confederates and Union soldiers could collect their dead and administer to the wounded. Nowhere in the history of our nation have so many perished in the course of a single day.

The World War II images are both from Washington D.C. and celebrate our Capitol Parks. Both memorials are relatively new and the one of nurses recall their contributions to the military.

The night shot with the Lincoln Memorial in the back is the newest of the memorials and commemorates veterans of WW II.


307433074013570Image1


Click to See Larger Version of Each Image

Over the years I’ve posted blogs about Memorial Day and about my absolute devotion to our men in uniform. For the most part, the men and women who have given their lives have fought for our country and have done so without regard to their own political beliefs, and so should be honored in that way, which I hope my blogs of the past (Blog one, blog 2) suggest.


ALUMAPALOOZA

And now let me say that I’ll be away from home for the next few days, flying on Tuesday to Jackson Ohio to give “Slide” presentations for an International Airstream gathering, organized by Rich Luhr of Airstream Life Magazine. He calls this gathering  “Alumapalooza.”

One program will concern our national parks (see: Airstream Camping tips) with much emphasis placed on Glacier National Park now celebrating its centennial. In the program I’ll also be talking about Glacier’s grizzly bears and how things have changed for the better since the tragic maulings in 1967 when two girls were fatally mauled.

The other program will concern photography, and naturally I look forward during these presentations to seeing some of the Airstream enthusiasts with whom I’ve become friends. As well, I’m hoping to make new friends at the convention and hope those with whom I share mutual interests won’t hesitate to hang around after the program. I’ll be returning home Friday, the day after my second presentation, and be reporting on the trip soon thereafter.

Looking forward to Airstream Life’s Alumapalooza 2010 — and  all the activities planned for this big rally…


—————————————————————–


THIS THREE  YEARS AGO:

*In Defense of Dandelions


ADS FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON AUGMENT OUR TRAVELS


Read Comments | 1 Comment »

Oregon Grape Heralds Spring in Glacier National Park

posted: May 25th, 2010 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: In about a week I’ll be departing Montana, flying to Jackson, Ohio, to make several “slide” presentations for Rich Luhr’s Aluma Palooza, a huge international gathering of Airstream Travel trailers.


OregonGrape-5

When Oregon Grape appears in Montana, warm days are not far behind.


One of my presentations will concern photography, and a portion of the talk will certainly include a bit about capturing images of flowers, generally a popular subject. Spring is a good time for such talks as the season is always crowned with beautiful displays, and one of those is beginning to occur right now not only in our back yard, but also in Glacier National Park. In our wooded property a particularly colorful  species  is growing at the base of several Douglas Fir trees.

OREGON GRAPE

Right now Oregon Grape is putting out a dazzling florescence of yellow, and there are two ways to capture this beauty: you can use strobes (also see: strobes & mushrooms), or you can wait until natural conditions are just right and then take your picture. This morning, there was no breeze, the sun was muted by clouds reducing harsh shadows,  so rather than using strobes as I often do to simulate such lighting, I set my camera on a tripod, attached a cable release so there would be absolutely no camera movement, set my f-stop to f-25 for depth of field and the shutter speed to .6 of a second. Then I depressed the cable release (no camera movement),  and because there wasn’t even the hint of a breeze  the slow shutter speed worked perfect. No part of the plant is blurred by movement of any kind and the depth of field reveals detail throughout.

Since college, Oregon Grape has been one of my favorite plant species. In a Montana State University botany class we were required to make a plant collection of spring wild flowers and then take one from that collection and describe it in detail. I selected Oregon Grape and my research revealed that the plant has antibiotic and anticancer properties. Scientists have discovered that the plant also contains properties effective in speeding recovery from giardia, candida, viral diarrhea, and from cholera.

In the fall, grapes can be harvested and used for making a tart but very palatable grape jelly. Though I’ve never had the opportunity to try the jelly others I know have, and they say it is tasty.

The species grows throughout the United States and Canada in cool, damp climates, and though not the first spring species to rear it head, is not far behind. Here in Montana, it is always a welcome sight, for it indicates that warm days are not far behind.

Hurray!


———————————————————————-


THIS TIME TWO YEARS AGO

*Spring Time In Glacier National Park


ADS FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON AUGMENT OUR TRAVELS

Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Chance of ‘67 Fatal G. Bear Maulings not “One in a Trillion”

posted: May 20th, 2010 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Montana Public TV aired its “Night of the Grizzlies” documentary May 17 and if nothing else the program has reunited many of us who played some part in the twin tragedies of 1967. Since that time I’ve visited by telephone with friends in various parts of the country who appeared in the documentary. We’ve rehashed the program, and we’ve reviewed the problems that brought about the fatal mauling of the two college women on that black night of August the 12th. What, we’ve all agreed upon, is that the producers did a magnificent job of tying together the times with the tragedy, recalling as they did the biology and legends of g-bears, the magnificent setting in which the maulings occurred — and even the fact that 1967 was “The summer of love.” (Remember, Brian, Daniela, and David?)

There is one fact, however, that keeps creeping in, and that is:  that the probability of these two maulings occurring on the same night was infinitesimal. “A trillion to one,” some said,  but that is not a figure I’m comfortable with. I think the odds were less — considerably less, and I think it important to understand the conditions and never forget, least we again create a problem situation.

GARBAGE THE PROBLEM

Here is my rationale, and it is based in part on a considerable amount of research I conducted for a major story I wrote for Smithsonian magazine about bears and bear maulings. I wrote the story in the mid 1980s after another horrible twin mauling occurred on Divide Creek, also in Glacier. In this case a young couple (Ammerman and Eberly) were camped (OK, so they were illegally camped, considering the outcome who cares ?) adjacent to the creek which was unknowingly in the path that a grizzly bear followed almost every night on its way to a garbage dump, one located just outside of the park. My research emphasized that there was little that would stop a bear intent on feeding on garbage. Highly charged electric fences didn’t work, and sadly the obstacle of two campers didn’t work either. The result was another twin tragedy.


Untitled-16gb-12822gb-12814


Click to see larger image. L to R:  Kintla Lake was my first ranger station; examining rogue grizzly bear and discovering glass embedded in its teeth;  Bert Gildart with rogue bear shot at Trout Lake.


In the above four cases, garbage was always the problem, for it had created bears that were conditioned to easily obtainable food sources –  food they’d come to associate with the smell of people. As a result, these bears had lost their fear of people, or in the words of biologists, they had become “habituated.” (Note: That’s not the way things are today! Despite a larger bear population, Glacier has  fewer problems, something that should also be remembered and that I really want to emphasize!)

Though the term habituation was not familiar in 1967, bears at both Granite Park Chalet and Trout Lake were certainly habituated. They craved garbage and absolutely nothing would stand in their way.

THEY WERE DUMPING GARBAGE

Certainly this is all in retrospect and is not to imply  managers at the time would have knowingly tolerated a situation that might have lethal consequences. I say that even though both David Shea and I had reported our findings to authorities at headquarters. As the “Night of the Grizzlies” retrospective brought out, one week prior to the maulings, Shea and I had hiked to Granite Park Chalet and had witnessed a horrible spectacle in which chalet personnel were dumping garbage over the balcony to lure grizzly bears in for free food. Our report was ignored but that may have been because Glacier was experiencing one of the worst fire seasons ever, and so headquarters was mostly without a nearby permanent staff, which is where authority ultimately rested.

Garbage was also present at Trout Lake and in such immense quantities that another monster situation had been created.  I once found cans of  honey, pancake mix, cans of tuna,  rotten sandwiches — enough discarded garbage to fill 17 burlap sacks later flown out in a helicopter, and that was just for starters! In other words, here were two completely separate situations and each could have but one outcome, and that was a mauling.

If my basic assumption is ball-park correct, then statisticians should view things differently. Rather than “a trillion to one,” the odds change and are based more on the number of days during which a probable mauling might occur.

Generally, Glacier’s approximately 300 maulings (10 fatal) have occurred between the months of July and September, though there are several notable exceptions. In 1998 rangers were notified that Craig Dahl had not returned from a May 17 hike. A search was conducted and the man’s remains were found on May 20. On the other seasonal extreme,  a sow and two cubs attacked and killed photographer John Petranyi on October 3, 1992, near Granite Park Chalet. No one can say with complete certainty what prompted the attacks because no one was there. But people can speculate, saying that perhaps it was photographic aggression or perhaps the hikers had a surprise encounter with the  sow and her cubs. (Today, before you venture into the backcountry you are required to watch a video that informs on ways to avoid surprise encounters.)

MAULINGS WERE A GIVEN

Most of Glacier’s other maulings (some with black bears lured into cars for better photo ops), however, have occurred between July and September, and isn’t it acceptable  then to focus on this three-month period,  a time frame of about 90 days?  Again, I want to emphasize that I believe the 1967 maulings were a given, that under the circumstances they were absolutely inevitable! If that’s the case, the probability of a mauling occurring on August 12 at Trout Lake was 1 out of 90. The same is true as well at Granite Park Chalet; there could be no other outcome!


Hutchgb-1281810624


Click to See Larger Image:  Ranger Bill Hutchison examining area for grizzly bear sign and finding it in the form of tree markings; sometimes bears turn rogue, generally subsequent to being feed; Heaven’s Peak separates Granite Park Chalet and Trout Lake, the two of which are 8 linear miles apart.

 

Now let’s take a rule from statistics, one which says that the odds of two separate events occurring at the same time is the product of their individual probabilities, meaning that the likelihood of these two mauling occurring on the same night (say, August 12)  is one in 8,100.

So there you have it, and though I don’t know how mathematically sound my statistical thoughts might be, I certainly think the odds are considerably less than a “trillion to one” or “infinitesimal,” as several seemed to think. . Still, that’s the virtue of such programs and such dialog:  they start you thinking…

From a personal perspective I am delighted for the small part I was able to contribute to the program and pleased many of my images (perhaps 25) were used by director Gus Chambers. To help set the background for my thoughts I’ve included a few of those pictures (above) in this posting.  My thoughts also suggest that though conditions were ripe for these two maulings, such is no longer the case.

Today, Janie and I frequently hike in Glacier without any  concern that marauding bears are stalking us, for these are decidedly different times, as I noted in a recent magazine article about bears. As biologist/author Doug Chadwick, who also served as the program’s commentator, said: “We’re learning to live with bears, and I think they’re learning to live with us.”


————————

NOTE:  As a guest speaker, I’ll be showing  the above photographs (and many others, too) between June 2 and June 4 at an International Airstream Rally in Jackson, Ohio. My program will also highlight Glacier, now celebrating its centennial.  Unfortunately, I’ll be flying and not traveling in our RV, which I regret.

 

——————————————————————————————–

 

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

*Memorial Day, On a Personal Note

 

 

ADS FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON AUGMENT OUR TRAVELS:

Read Comments | 1 Comment »

Tonight, PBS To Air Grizzly Bear Retrospective

posted: May 17th, 2010 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  Tonight PBS will be airing on Montana Public TV its long awaited retrospective on Night of the Grizzly. The retrospective draws on an immense number of interviews conducted over the past few years with individuals who were in some way involved with the dual tragedy which occurred August of 1967. In a single night two young women were fatally mauled in two entirely different locations in Glacier National Park. One of the maulings occurred at Granite Park Chalet, the other at Trout Lake. Peripherally, I was involved at Granite Park Chalet but at Trout Lake, I was directly involved (see link just above).


41206

When bears link the odor of food with people, they become "habituated" -- and very dangerous.


Both maulings were the direct result of habituation, a situation in which bears have lost all fear of people. Usually that results when bears have come to associate food with people and that is precisely what happened in these two cases. At Granite Park Chalet managers were placing food just outside the chalet so guests could see bears more intimately.

GLACIER’S BACKCOUNTRY LOOKED LIKE A GARBAGE DUMP

At Trout Lake, hikers were disposing of unused food and over the years the campground had come to resemble a garbage dump. In fact, subsequent to the mauling, Chief Ranger Ruben Hart and I returned to Trout Lake in a helicopter and loaded it with 17 burlap sacks full of refuse. That was just for starters. Most other campgrounds in the park had similarly deteriorated.

Since 1989 (when I became a free-lance writer)  I have written a number of articles about bears and the problems that result from habituation. One of the stories appeared in Smithsonian while others have appeared in many outdoor publications. Because of our RV travels, I frequently write travel stories now for the RV industry, and this month’s issue of MotorHome Magazine allows me to merge my evolution of feelings about bears along with thoughts about Glacier National Park’s centennial.

GNP7026

MOST unhabituated bears avoid people.

 


Over the years I’ve also posted a number of blogs about bears, mostly favorable to the park’s handling of bears, though not all.

WOULD HAVE JOINED HUNTING PARTY

Subsequent to the maulings I would gladly have joined a hunting party intent on eliminating grizzly bears from Glacier. But with the massive clean up of Glacier backcountry and with the implementation of a Bear Management Plan, my feeling have changed, for I believe you are safer now in Glacier’s backcountry than you are driving to the park. Essentially, that is because bears are once again wild and are not habituated. In other words, hikers are now dealing with wild bears, and when you see one of the magnificent animals created by the eons you may understand why Glacier would be bereft should they disappear.

I’ll be watching the PBS program tonight at 8 pm certainly because they’ve included interviews with me, but more importantly, I want to see how others now feel about bears.


————————————————————-


THIS TIME TWO YEARS AGO:

*They were “Honeyed Up”, Reflections from My Days as a Backcountry Ranger

 

ADS FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON AUGMENT OUR TRAVELS


Read Comments | 2 Comments »

Recommitting to another Century of Preserving A Sacred Land called Glacier National Park

posted: May 13th, 2010 | by:Bert


Chas-1

Superintendent Chas Cartwright urging another century of commitment

©Bert Gildart: For the thousand-plus people who attended Glacier National Park’s 100-year celebration held May 11, 2010, the day could not have been better. The weather was perfect and the audience was in accord with the various dignitaries who offered remarks, which carried much meaning.

Backdropped by mountains in the Apgar Range and beneath a perfectly blue sky, Glacier Superintendent Chas Cartwright provided opening thoughts in which he summarized some of the ways in which Glacier now appears on a world stage.

He recalled that the 1.1 million acre park is a World Heritage Park, an International Peace Park and a Biosphere Preserve. He urged everyone to recommit to the support and protection of this sacred land we call Glacier.

“As we move into the second century,” said Cartwright,” the continued preservation of this special place is in the hands of the stewards we engage today.”

HEAVEN’S PEAK LOOKOUT

Cartwright, who is on a fast track to becoming the crowd-pleasing advocate of wilderness designation for much of Glacier, also talked about refurbishing the old but historic Heaven’s Peak Fire Lookout, which seemed to interest everyone.

He said that last year he had threaded his way through the underbrush with Resource Specialist Jack Potter and that as they ascended the lofty saddle between Heaven’s Peak and the old Heaven’s Peak Lookout he’d asked Potter, “When do we pick up the trail?”

“This,” Potter had said, “is the trail.”

Others spoke, too, and Montana Lt. Governor John Bohlinger recalled he’d been coming to the park since he was ten years old and that “[Glacier has] a long history of enchanting people.”


GlacierCentennial-1

Superintendent Chas Cartwright with Willie Sharp, Lt. Governor John Bohlinger and Rusty Tatsy.

 

Bill Schustrom, a highly respected Glacier interpretive ranger for the last 22 years, said he wondered if President Taft “realized what he was setting in motion” as he was establishing Glacier as a protected national park.

POIGNANT THOUGHTS FROM NATIVE AMERICANS

Though all remarks were enthusiastically applauded speakers whose comments seemed particularly poignant were the Native Americans from the Blackfeet and Salish-Kootenai Reservations. Though Willie Sharp Jr, Steve Lozar and Rusty Tatsey all used different words, the general theme recalled past struggles as the government down- sized lands the tribes once dominated – and that included portions of what is now Glacier National Park.


N-Americans-1N-American-5GlacierCentennial-1-2


CLICK TO SEE LARGER IMAGE. L to R: Blackfeet Tribal Chairman Willie Sharp, Salish-Kootenai College Instructor Steve Lozar, Blackfeet Tribal Vice-Chairman Peter ‘Rusty’ Tatsey.

Nevertheless, the men recognized the times for what they are and seemed to be saying that national park designation enabled Glacier to protect the mountains, valleys and the spiritual qualities their respective tribes so cherished.

“When our family experiences illness,” said Blackfeet Tribal Chairman Willie Sharp, “here is where we come.”


FiveSuperintendents-2

Four former Glacier superintendents joined Glacier's current superintendent, Chas Cartwright, center. Flanking Cartwright are Phil Iversen and Dave Mihalic to his right and Mick Holm and Bob Haraden to his left.

 

Several of the state’s leaders could not be present. Stand-ins, however, read speeches from the podium for Sen. Ryan Zinke, for Senator Jon Tester and for Rep. Denny Rehberg. Montana Senator Max Baucus wasn’t present either but from past experiences I am sure that he very much wanted nothing more than to attend. Once he and I climbed Triple Divide and in 1992 I escorted him around Arctic Village, Alaska, immediately adjacent to the Arctic Refuge. I was gratified when his stand-in said that on Monday night (May 10th) Baucus passed a resolution recognizing the park’s 100th birthday.

YOU’LL NEVER BE THE SAME

Baucus who recently helped settle oil and gas leases (much clapping) near Glacier offered a remark which fit this day of great harmony. “Once you’re in Glacier National Park, “said Baucus, “You’ll never be the same.” The remark drew one of the many standing ovations offered throughout the day and was in perfect accord with Superintendent Cartwright who offered an appropriate challenge:

“Together,” said Cartwright, “we can insure Glacier National Park remains a jewel in the Crown of the Continent.”

Without qualification, all seemed to be in accord.


—————————————————————————————

 

THIS TIME ONE YEAR AGO:

*Natchez Trace and Arctic Refuge Images Used by Various Publications


GOOGLE AND AMAZON ADS AUGMENT OUR TRAVELS


Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Glacier National Park is 100! Its Existence Has Impacted Many

posted: May 11th, 2010 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: One hundred years ago, today, 1.1 million acres in the northwest part of Montana was set aside as the nation’s 10th national park. Like all young college people, many features combine to influence my life, but none had more of an impact on me than this wild country we now call Glacier National Park.


10112

Mountain Goat at Gunsight Pass back dropped by Lake Ellen Wilson

 

For me it all began in 1961 in Washington, D.C., where I waved good bye to my aunt and uncle — who literally and figuratively pointed the way — and boarded a Greyhound bus. Three long days and nights later I arrived in Great Falls, Montana,  where I found a run-down hotel adjacent to a raucous bar. I was impressed but exhausted, and without the movement of the huge bus fell asleep before I could muster the energy to investigate the mysteries behind dark curtains and neon lights.

GREYHOUND WEST

Next day, I boarded a local bus and was overwhelmed as it ascended from the trough channeling the Missouri River to the top of a steep butte — where I soon sat stunned by my first real view of the Rocky Mountains, still clad in winter snow. Behind me sat two elderly Indian men, speaking in their native language. They were bound for the nearby Blackfeet Indian Reservation and the combination of Indians and rugged mountains seemed to posses the  potential for raw adventure — and that is what I craved.

Five hours later the bus pulled into West Glacier and so began what has become a life-long passion for this land born out of the chaos of great tectonic forces.


GoToSunMt1306110624ChiefOldperson


FOR LARGER RENDITION, CLICK ON EACH IMAGE. L To R: Going to Sun Mountain, David Gildart hiking by mountain goats, Granite Park Chalet, Chief Earl Old Person renaming Trick Falls as Running Eagle Falls.


For a number of years I worked in the park on the eradication of white pine blister rust. As well, new friends and I hiked many of the back country trails and here is where my experiences began to mount. In fact, the experiences were so influential that I returned to college after a prolonged hiatus, enrolling at Montana State University. However, I always continued with my summer work in Glacier National Park.

During these first few summers, I made marathon hikes and recall that during my first summer I got lost. Another summer I climbed Chief Mountain and, then, just weeks later, climbed another prominent one known as Heaven’s Peak. I did so with Ken Price (now a high school principle in Helena, Montana) and David Wilson, and if Wilson is still alive, his life may have been altered more than any other person to work in  Glacier.

PERMANENTLY MISSING PERSON

Essentially, David was a loner, and the very next weekend he climbed Going-to-the-Sun Mountain (just above on left) alone, but after that, he was never heard from again. We know Wilson reached the top as he signed the register, but then, nothing! The park conducted a thorough search organized and lead by Bob Frauson, a former 10th Mountain Ranger. At the time of the search Bob had become a district ranger in Glacier and I remember that he spaced us out in a way that enabled us to scour the woodlands. Again, nothing. And then an expert mountain-climbing group combed the entire climbable  route (and fringe route too) but again, nothing.

Later, Bob researched David’s background and expressed thoughts that there was much about his makeup that might have prompted him to stage a grand disappearance, something friends who know him also thought plausible. If that is the case, I liken him to Christopher McCandeless (AKA as Alexander Supertramp) who rejected his family by going “Into The Wild.” But unlike Supertramp who died in a school bus in Alaska, hope exists that David’s life did not end tragically. Perhaps, he’s somewhere in South America. At any rate, no trace has ever been found of David Wilson.

CHANGED LIVES

As the years went by I applied for seasonal work in Glacier as a ranger and continued with my love of exploring the park’s wilderness trails. As part of my work I fought fire, worked on bear management, gave tickets, endured the historic flood of 1964, introduced my children to the park’s backcountry, and continued my explorations of this incredible park. The adventures mounted and subsequently paved the way for a life in newspaper and magazine work as an outdoor writer and photographer. Later, my interest in Glacier evolved to the point where I became interested in all of America’s national parks, which Janie and I now explore at length.


30900111471119912795


FOR LARGER VERSION CLICK ON EACH IMAGE.  L to R: Mountain goat kids at Logan Pass, Chief Mountain, hiking to Grinnell Glacier, grizzly bear on trail to Iceberg Lake.


Others, I know, can also tell  stories of life-altering changes, but  what many of us share in common is that it all began with Glacier. That’s something many may be recalling today. Possibly they’ll be doing so throughout the country, but for sure at park headquarters in the conference center. Day’s events will began with opening comments by Superintendent Charles Cartwright and will run through the afternoon. I’ll be attending, and perhaps I’ll run into some of my own buddies and learn more about what changes this magnificent park have wrought.


———————

 

THIS TIME (Almost!) TWO YEARS AGO:

*National Bison Range Celebrates 100 Years


ADDS FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON AUGMENT OUR TRAVE

Read Comments | 2 Comments »

Despite “Spring” Weather, Writer’s Convention Great Success

posted: May 6th, 2010 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Last week Janie and I parked our Airstream  at Seeley Lake while attending the annual convention of the Northwest Outdoor Writer’s Association of America (NOWA). The conference was held at the Double Arrow Resort, a beautiful facility just a few miles south of our quiet mountain camp.

During our three-day convention we took advantage of field trips, and seminars, and we visited with a number of members with whom we’ve become good friends.


SeeleyLake

Swan Mountain Range reflects in Seeley Lake

 


Because of harsh weather, many of the events were cancelled, but Janie and I managed to squeeze in a trip to the Blackfoot Clearwater Wildlife Management Range. Biologist Tom Toman served as an excellent guide, rehashing the history of wildlife in North America. He said the antelope is one of the few “game” mammals that actually evolved here.

BEARS EVOLVED IN ASIA

Black bears, he said, evolved in Asia and then crossed the Baring Land Mass about 200,000 years ago. He said that elk and grizzlies are relative new comers, having arrived here 20,000 years ago.

Despite the timing, both species of bears evolved from a common stock known as Ursus etruscus. Those ancient forerunners that happened to wind up in the forests learned to climb trees and so came to have more passive temperaments, characterized by today’s black bear.


ElkManagement

Tom Toman discusses history of elk managment Blackfoot/Clearwater area.



Those that wound up in the prairies and plains of Asia had to protect their young by being aggressive. Obviously the ones that were the strongest — and most aggressive — ruled the day, and survived to perpetuate their own. Eventually, they became the mighty grizzly bear.

LIGHTROOM “MOST USEFUL” PHOTO EDITING PROGRAM

Regarding seminars, the NOWA convention offered many to include talks on book publishing, magazine writing and photography. Tim Christie, a college instructor from the University of North Idaho, said the Lightroom program was his most useful program, agreeing with two other good friends, Todd Campbell of Boise, Idaho (embedded in story about bears), and Rich Charpentier of Prescott, Arizona. Both these men are excellent photographers.

Also attending the NOWA convention were several sponsors. Jack Rich, a local area outfitter, claimed the distinction of early-day Montana ancestry, and in his case, an ancestor of much distinction. Tom’s great uncle, a Mr. Donne, was a member of the Washburn/Langford/Donne expedition of 1870 which explored an massive section of land just south of Bozeman, Montana. The region was rich with wildlife and all these critters were backdropped by incredible hot springs and immense geysers. Expedition members were so enamored that after nine months of exploration decided that this particular region should not be commercialized but rather be set aside for the enjoyment of all Americans. Image how such a suggestion would be received today! Two years later, this section of Wyoming and Montana was set aside as the world’s first national park, now known as Yellowstone National Park.

Weather wise, the spirits worked against us; still the rain and snow combination broke up soon enough for most conference attendees to return home accompanied by favorable weather.

Airstream

Plagued by rain and snow, NOWA convention still kept members jumping

 

Some had hundreds of miles to travel, but for us, the drive was short. Seventy miles later we were back home, and our timing was good, for immediately upon our return snow commenced falling once again and really hasn’t stopped. But there’s a flip side, and that is that the mountains  now glow and have a primordial look that reminds us why we continue to make Montana our sanctuary, our home when we’re not traveling.


———————————————————————————

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

*EIGHTEEN YEAR RETROSPECTIVE

ADS FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON AUGMENT OUR TRAVELS


Read Comments | Post a Comment »

World Trade Center 19 Years Ago Today

posted: May 4th, 2010 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Nineteen years ago today, Janie and I were married at my sister’s in Poughkeepsie, New York.  Somehow Forrest, my brother-in-law, managed to obtain  reservations for us at the World Trade Center where we stayed the night of May 4th, 1991.  Janie and I both enjoy Broadway hits, so that night we took in CATS. As well, we dined in the restaurant once located at the top of one of the  Twin Towers.

Obviously we’re saddened that we can no longer return to the World Trade Center. But our sadness is obscured by the immense tragedy of lives lost subsequent to the bombing on 9/11 and the way in which the lives of so many others were forever altered.

We’re reminded of the World Trade Center certainly because we honeymooned there, but also because of the recent car bombing attempt in Times Square.  From the Internet, I’ve just learned that an alleged perpetrator has been apprehended. Now, if we could only bring Osama Bin Laden to justice, alive  — or dead!


DesertToast

Nineteen years of travel since departing the World Trade Center, much with our Airstream

 

SHIFTING TO UPBEAT NOTE

On a more upbeat note, since departing New York and returning to Montana, our lives have been made incredibly rich with many travels, and for those interested in a sampling, simply click on the months located in the archives to the right of this post.

A few highlights might include experiences in the Arctic (boating Adventure) and the travels throughout Canada (Kayaking Bay of Fundy) and the U.S. (Dry Tortugas) in our Airstream.

We are now accepting congratulatory  thoughts.


————————————————————————

Read Comments | 6 Comments »

Snow – We Can’t Escape It!

posted: May 1st, 2010 | by:Bert

NOWA

Snow, we can't escape it!

©Bert Gildart: Try as we might, it seems impossible to escape winter (see-1; see-2). At the moment, we’re attending a writer’s conference, specifically, the Northwest Outdoor Writer’s Association, an affiliate of the Outdoor Writer’s Association of America.

This year, our chapter has convened at Seeley Lake, a beautiful and remote lake located in Montana — and south of our home near Bigfork by about 70 miles. Though last week it was sunny with real hints of summer, this week (and this is not unheard of for late April early May in Big Sky Country) the weather man says we will have snow. And behold, we now have it!

Though we have not been hit too badly at these lower lake elevations, in the higher elevations, clouds dumped 12 to 18 inches of the white stuff, most notably in Glacier National Park and on Marias Pass, which really saw the return of winter. From what the weather man says, we can expect this type of weather to persist for the next three to four days, the duration, in other words, of our conference.

CHOICE OF ACCOMMODATIONS

Though most everyone is staying at the Double Arrow, a beautiful lodge that has offered our group discounted rates, we have never-the-less chosen to camp at Tamaracks Resort Campground, which is also beautiful and certainly much cheaper, an important consideration for us after just putting out a considerable sum for repair of our transmission. But even if finances had not been a concern, we’ve gotten to the point where we simply prefer our Airstream to commercial accommodations, despite the beauty that Double Arrow also offers.

Right now, the deer are munching on willows just outside the window of our camper, and last night we drifted to sleep to the garbled wail of loons. We’ll take what we get and enjoy what we get. That not too hard to do as most of our time will be spent renewing friends with NOWA’s interesting members and attending the seminars, which are always  beneficial.

————————————————————–

THIS TIME LAST YEARS:

*New Book From Falcon on GNP

ADS FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON AUGMENT OUR TRAVELS


Read Comments | Post a Comment »